Brown not staying down

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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Positive attitude has helped Warriors defenceman be consistent

Travis Brown has been a model of consistency this season.

Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Travis Brown rips a shot against the Regina Pats in WHL action from Oct. 19.

Considering the Moose Jaw Warriors inconsistent season to date, that speaks volumes.

Inconsistent play was the knock against the 19-year-old defenceman a season ago, but Brown has been on top of his game every night during the first two months of the season.

“He’s been downright excellent. The consistency in his game is what I’ve liked the most. He has been known in the past as a guy who can play some great games and then follow it up some games where he was very hard on himself,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “Travis was sometimes his own worst enemy. He would have a hard time letting go of a bad shift or a bad game. It would go on longer than it needed to. Now he’s more composed mentally.

“Hockey is a game of mistakes and you’re going to make the odd one. He’s trying things that are making him successful and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.”

More often than not things have been working for Brown so far this season. He currently leads all WHL defencemen in scoring with 21 points and also has six goals to his credit.

As they head into Saturday’s game against Prince Albert (7 p.m., Mosaic Place), the Warriors have had some struggles. Win or lose, Brown is trying to come to the rink every day with a smile on his face and an optimistic attitude.

“Last year if I had a bad game I would dwell on it a little longer than usual and maybe put the blame on myself when it wasn’t necessarily my fault. This year I’m trying to shake things off quicker,” said Brown.

Brown was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round, 149th overall, in 2012. He went to the Blackhawks main camp this fall and Stothers believes seeing how the pros keep an even keel helped his defenceman.

“He’s finally convinced that he’s going to get back on the ice. When you first come in you worry that if you make a mistake it’s going to be your last shift. Sometimes you think you’re going to be judged by that one shift,” said Stothers. “Last year, even the next day you could see it written all over him with his body language. This year his shoulders are back, his chest is out, he moves on. It doesn’t bother him. That’s the way it should be.”

Brown had a point in 11 of the first 12 games of the season and is a big reason why the Warriors power play is scoring 24.1 per cent of the time despite losing Morgan Rielly. The Winnipeg product credits the team for his strong start.

“The record may not show it, but I think we’ve been playing pretty decent this year,” said Brown.

No one can fill Rielly’s skates, but Brown has definitely softened the blow of losing his former defence partner.

“He’s been important for us. In the absence of Morgs he’s brought us some offence,” said Stothers who was quick to point out that while Brown’s numbers are excellent, they hardly tell the whole story.

“It’s not about numbers with him either, it’s the consistency and his demeanor.”

Organizations: Chicago Blackhawks, Prince Albert

Geographic location: Winnipeg

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